Standing tall overlooking the city of Jaipur, Nahargarh Fort is a monumental edifice built by Sawai Madho Singh in the eighteenth century. The fort is situated on Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) and Nahargarh means “abode of tigers”. Nahargarh fort along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort once formed a strong defense around the city of Jaipur. However, Nahargarh fort was also used as a summer retreat by the Jaipur kings considering that there are several palaces, temples and landscaped gardens within its complex. There is an extended wall at Nahargarh Fort which connects it to Jaigarh Fort.
The Madhavendra Palace is the hotspot attraction at the fort which has an opulent suite for the king and nine suites for his concubines. The Madhavendra palace looks spellbindingly magnificent and the walls of the suites are intricately designed with delicate fresco paintings.
Within the fort lies the famous Nahargarh Biological Park and a zoo that gives tourists a sneak peek into the wilderness of the regions like Asiatic lions and Bengal tigers. Another huge attraction is the Sculpture Park that has astounding pieces of sculpture on display at the Madhavendra Palace. The fort complex even has two restaurants that offer breathtaking views of the city below and serves zesty Indian cuisine.
History of Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in the year 1734. Interestingly, the fort was never attacked during the entire history. But, historical events in the eighteenth century like the signing of treaties with Maratha forces happened at the fort. The fort also has another intriguing history attached to it. During the construction of the fort, something things strange used to happen every single day; whatever was built during the day used to collapse at night. The King believed that the construction work was hindered by the restless spirit of Rathore prince, Nahar Singh Bhomia. So, based on the advice of astrologers, the king decided to build a temple devoted to him and also name the fort on his name to honor him. After doing so, the construction works of the fort went unhindered.
The architecture of Nahargarh Fort
The imposing Nahargarh Fort has been built in the Indo-European style of architecture and is decked up with scalloped archways, domed ceilings, and sprawling gardens. The tall exterior walls of the fort run for several kilometres and the main entrance of the fort, Padi Gate stands as a testimony to the magnificent architecture. The most prominent structure within the Nahargarh Fort is Madhavendra Bhawan aka Madhavendra Palace. This two-story palace was built by King Sawai Madho Singh for himself and his nine queens.
The palace features one majestic suite for the king himself and nine identical suites for his nine wives. The suites are lavish with bedrooms, lobby, kitchen, and a store. An open-air corridor connects all the suites. Interestingly, the suites are built in such a way that the king can visit one of his nine wives without the knowledge of the other eight wives. Another amazing structure is the Diwan-i-Aam, which is a sprawling hall where the king addressed the grievances of his subjects. There are also two temples within Nahargarh Fort - one for the deity of Jaipur rulers and another one for Rathore prince, Nahar Singh Bhomia.